Earlier this month my younger brother moved to DC for a new job. He recently completed graduate school and is now living in his first apartment. As most first apartments go, there has been lots of set up work to get his new pad feeling more like home. While I have been helping him get settled, I was reminded of all of those little home details that I had long since forgotten about (i.e.- like needing a flatware drawer divider and a paper towel holder). Lots of little but necessary expenses that certainly add up quickly! Of course as his older sister, I wanted to make sure that his transition to grown-up living was as seamless and comfortable as possible.
Thinking more about his initial apartment set-up gave me an idea to create the ultimate "Welcome to the Neighborhood" Gift Basket. Creating a Welcome Basket would be my way of helping him get set up and feel more at home in his new place. I will be the first to admit that the gift basket you are about to see is a bit extravagant. The reason for this extravagance is two-fold. First, this basket is for my brother. Second, I wanted to show you all of the various options for creating your own gift basket. Any piece of this ultimate gift basket would make for a lovely Welcome to the Neighborhood gift/gesture.
The first local good I have included is baseball hat from our local team. Moving to a new city in the Spring means baseball season is in full swing, so as the expression goes "When in Rome!.." The second local gift is a map. I love this gift idea because not only is it a map of the city, but it also includes the metro routes, parks, memorials and notable public buildings. An overall great resource for someone new to the area.
Last year when my husband and I moved into our new home, we had quite the increase in visitor traffic. People wanting to come by and see the new place, or just to say "Welcome to the Neighborhood." With the influx in visitor traffic to our house, I found it extremely helpful to have certain entertaining items on hand. Crackers and chutney (another favorite local item) for cheesescaping of course. I also included a bag of Somersaults as an easy to serve nibble option. For more ideas on entertaining essentials to include in a gift basket, check out this previous post.
When I moved into my first place, I was so exhausted after the move that all I wanted to do was have a glass of wine and relax. I had the bottle of wine, but of course it was just my luck that I would be without a corkscrew (tragic evening for sure!). In addition to including a corkscrew, I have a nice bar of soap for his guest bath/powder room (similar here) and a package of cocktail napkins (both of which were finds from Home Goods and Marshalls).
Who doesn't love a little something sweet? There are so many great dessert options that could go into a gift basket. For this particular gift basket I chose to include three of my brother's favorite indulgences: Chocolate Covered Pretzels, his favorite cookies and Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels.
A bottle of water is always a great addition to a Welcome Gift Basket. Again, I remember all too well how purchasing the Brita Water Pitcher was necessary, but of course not apparent until I needed a glass of water! In addition, a bottle of wine, champagne or some type of spirit is a great secondary beverage option to include in a gift basket.
When assembling a gift basket (here is a great basket option), I recommend having a package of tissue paper on hand to aid with the placement/display of your basket goodies. I like to wrap gift baskets with cellophane paper so that the gift recipient can easily identify that the package has perishable items (and I also think the cellophane paper has a pretty aesthetic). To finish off this gift basket I added wide ribbon and a personalized note using one of my DIY Gift Tags.
This basket has some elements that are customized to fit my gift recipient, but the concepts can be applied to almost any recipient and/or situation. Maybe you have a neighbor who just had a baby or a friend who recently purchased their first home. Regardless, a thoughtful gesture like a gift basket of any size is always a much appreciated gesture. I hope that some aspect of this monster gift basket has given you ideas for assembling your own gift basket in the future.